As high school students begin to go through the recruiting process, there are many aspects of college that any student will look into. Drew Delaney of Elizabethtown College is one who is very knowledgeable of not only the aspects that make a lacrosse team great, but also what makes a college experience special.
Coach Delaney began his tenure at Elizabethtown in the summer of 2013. In his second year in 2015, he and the Blue Jays soared with a 14-3 record as well as a 7-0 conference record.
This success is nothing new to Delaney as he came to Elizabethtown with 10 years of coaching experience behind him. As Coach Delaney continues to build a special program at Elizabethtown, we sat down with him to learn more about what makes a recruit standout, as well as what makes Elizabethtown such a extraordinary experience for any lacrosse player.
What advice do you have for players interested in Division III schools?
The biggest thing when starting their college search is to figure out what type of institution they’re looking for whether it is size, location, or what majors they want. At the end of the day this is a huge investment. Lacrosse is an aspect of their decision, so these students need to find the right fit academically and a place that’s going to put them where they want to be at the end of their 4 years.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
I always tell players recruiting is not going to happen to them. They have to be proactive in being found by coaches. To get on our radar we’re looking for students who are reaching out via email and phone. Letting us know of their interest, letting us know why they’re interested. Providing important things like transcripts, highlights, and SAT scores are something every coach is looking for so be prepared to provide them. The guys that are organized in getting things to coaches are the ones that stand out in the crowd.
What type of players do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
I think we’re looking for is potential. With the new accelerated recruiting a lot of players are making their decisions early, which is leaving a lot of strong players who may not have developed as quickly. We’re looking for someone who is exceptional in terms of skill level or possesses great potential in terms of athleticism.
We want to be one of the fastest teams in Division III. We want to have an aggressive style and we want to find players who fit that style. Having players who are slick and creative or athletes who are able to really push the tempo, those are the guys that really stand out to us. And we obviously need defenders and goalies that don’t just get stops but create full field offense, as well.
What areas of player development would you recommend players focus on to elevate their game?
Obviously keeping a stick in your hand, developing the ability to throw from any angle, building some creativity. Also, working on foot speed, and increasing strength is going to help a young player get noticed and get an opportunity. Guys should work on becoming lacrosse strong, not weight room strong. Train to increase your range of motion, your flexibility and your explosiveness and don’t get caught up in how much weight you are using.
What is special about playing at Elizabethtown College?
What stands out to me in my two years with the program is just how passionate our student-athletes are about the institution, as well as the program. Our guys are involved in everything on campus, whether it be clubs, organizations, or intramurals. They’re supportive of other students on campus and it’s a full college experience where you can be involved in as many things as you want. Our guys can pursue a lot of great majors and also compete in the highest level of Division III.
Are there any last pieces of advice for players and families you’d like to share?
The big thing families need to remember is it’s a big decision for these young men, as well as a big financial commitment, so it’s important to take their time. These kids should do the research to find the right fit. They shouldn’t feel pressure. If students have done the work in classroom and on the field, they will have a lot of great opportunities. Remember not making a decision quickly means you may miss out on one opportunity, but there will be many other great opportunities at another school. Make sure you have the information you need to be comfortable making a commitment.
ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Drew Delaney or Elizabethtown College.